MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There are thirteen newly certified police officers ready to protect and serve in the City of Miami.

Interim Police Chief Manuel Orosa took part in Monday afternoon’s swearing in ceremony, just days after the city lifted a hiring freeze. During Monday’s ceremony, four Commanders were also promoted to Majors. The promotions were long overdue and were supposed to take place in December 2010.

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City Manager Johnny Martinez lifted the freeze on police hires on Oct. 20, though the ban is still in place in the rest of Miami. Orosa said the freeze had been the biggest obstacle to bolstering the police force.

Three more officers are expected to be hired soon which leaves 55 openings that Miami will work to fill in batches.

For the first round, the department has requested to hire 21 more cops and 10 recruits.

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Some of those jobs will be filled with police officers already certified by the state. Other jobs will go to recruits who have to undergo six months of training.

If you’re interested in a job on the Miami police force, be prepared to wait. The department already has two lists of recruit applicants — dating back to 2008 and 2009. The lists were caught up in the hiring freeze and the city has to give those applicants first priority, if they’re still interested in joining the force.

In addition to hiring new officers, lifting the hiring freeze will allow the department to promote existing officers to seven vacant sergeant positions. Dozens of officers have taken the necessary tests to qualify for the promotion but have not been able to move up the ranks. Instead, current sergeants have been doing extra work, such as overseeing two squads instead of one.

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